The winds of change for the republican party and it’s mouthpieces have taken them to areas they’d never considered prior to getting shellacked by an incumbent with a poor record on the economy and one who clearly stood in opposition to many traditional conservative values. Has support for public schools joined the list? According to influential Florida columnist, Matt Reed, it needs to. In a poignant critique of current republican leaders titled, Hey, GOP: Don’t Insult My Mom, Reed suggests this to republican power brokers in Florida Today:
It’s OK to support regular-old public schools.
The vast majority of Americans attended public schools and have sent their children to neighborhood campuses. They thank public schools for their livelihoods. They see them as gateways to opportunity for kids with disintegrating families. They judge their home values by the quality of local campuses.
At the convention, debates and rallies last year, the only education ideas that triggered applause were getting more kids to leave through “school choice” and defeating teachers’ unions. That’s not mainstream thought.
Jeb Bush, call your office.
Bush was given a prime speaking spot at last summer’s GOP convention in Tampa to stump his school choice sunshine. Aside from anytime he said choice or unions, the crowd yawned. It was an astonishingly uninspiring and unremarkable speech. I wonder if Reed noticed. I wondered if any of Bush’s acolytes noticed. You can be certain that the rank-and-file republican voters on the floor of the Tampa Bay Time Forum noticed.